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Mexico and Ethiopia: Building upon 70 years of friendship

Dear Editor,

This year, Mexico and Ethiopia celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations. I visit Addis Ababa this week to reassert the long-standing friendship between our two nations, and to open new opportunities to further enhance our political, economic and social links.

We are proud of our historical ties. Mexico strongly condemned the invasion of Ethiopia in 1936, and supported its independence and status as a member of the League of Nations. In 1949 Ethiopia became the first African country with which Mexico established diplomatic relations, and in 1954 Haile Selassie became one of the first African leaders to visit our country. Current generations might not be aware of these key episodes in our common history as they commute through Mexico Square in Addis Ababa’s light rail, or Ethiopia Station in Mexico City’s subway. 

Today we share goals and aspirations, including the achievement of more equitable economic growth and social inclusion. Both our governments are taking concrete steps to promote trade and investment, gender equality and environmental protection. 

During my visit, I will meet officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government agencies, the private sector and academia. I will co-chair our Second High-Level Political Consultations Mechanism, in which we will renew our commitment to work together on regional and global issues. We will also discuss joint strategies to increase our bilateral trade and investment, including by fostering more contacts between our private sectors. Equally important are academic exchanges and cooperation programs, instrumental in bringing together our societies.

As we face a worrying trend of increased unilateralism in the global arena, it is essential that countries like Mexico and Ethiopia work together to uphold the value of multilateralism and international cooperation. We believe in the international rules-based system and are committed to advancing a progressive agenda in favor of youth employment, gender equality, and social development, among other core concerns. We also champion efforts to tackle threats to global security, such as terrorism and the rise of violent extremism and hate speech.

In this context, Mexico has presented its candidacy to a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council in 2021-22, which has been endorsed by our regional group. We will maintain close contacts with African partners in the lead-up to this important responsibility, as well as throughout our term. We believe in transparency and openness, particularly on matters related to peace and security.

During my stay in Addis Ababa, I will also meet with high-level representatives of the African Union Commission to shape a forward-looking, action-oriented vision on global issues such as migration, counter-terrorism, disaster risk deduction, and anti-corruption. As a Permanent Observer to the African Union, Mexico recognizes the constructive role the organization can play on issues such as the promotion of human rights, democracy, and people-centered development. Taking into account Mexico’s leadership role in the global free trade agenda, we also follow with great interest the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area and the opportunities it represents for closer interaction with our African Partners.

Friendship and solidarity are the solid foundations of our 70-year-old relationship. We must now seize the opportunity to build upon them through exchanges that bring us closer together, as we address common national and global challenges.

Ambassador Julian Ventura,

State Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico

@JulianVenturaV